Fashion Trend (7th-10th c.+)

As close to Tang era (7th c.-10th c., and all the way to Song, but it wasn’t as typical in Song’s time) attire as I can get at the moment.

Surplice-neck undershirt (交領中單), half-sleeves (半臂), wide-leg trousers (袴褲), canvas shoes (布鞋). Need a robe (袍) and a head-wrap (幞頭) to complete the set.

I could also exchange the shoes for a pair of boots and wear a round neck undershirt to make it more typical for that period. People didn’t wear their undershirt as the top layer, just like a modern dress shirt was not supposed to be worn by itself back in the day, and that’s the reason for the half-sleeves and/or robe.

Proper attire was always finished with a full robe on top, be it round-neck or surplice-neck. The length of the robe would hinder finesse motion and make it too hot for exercise, say football or polo, as they were really popular back then. For this reason, warriors and riders opted for the half-sleeves sandwiched between the undershirt and the outer robe. When they needed to exercise they could take off their robes entirely or just one side off (useful for horse archery and polo).

The half-sleeves were a great hit, and a lot of them were made of colourful, expensive brocade (錦). In military use, this type of clothing became the Raccoon-dog-sleeves (貉袖) in Song, and the overall “armour” (罩甲) in Ming, which was used both as an actually armour or just normal soft clothing as part of the everyday uniform.

Centre. Raccoon-dog-sleeves in Song era painting. 宋·李公麟 《免胄圖》

Overall “armour”. Ming Era. 明 《宣宗出獵圖》

Two-handed sword. 100cm Blade, 30cm handle, weight ~1.3kg. Two-handed sword wasn’t a typical military equipment in ancient China. Generally speaking, normal soliders typically used a single-handed double-edge sword, jian (劍), or singe-edge sword sword, dao(刀), with a shield most of the time. The two-handed sword, jian or dao, was usually used by elite guards as it was more suitable for guard duty and shown as a badge of honour for ceremonial purposes.

Relief of guards with long daos. 長刀儀衛浮雕,唐代陝西三原李壽墓

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